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memoir

When Life Gets in the Way of a Book Launch

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Like a true first-time author, I had publication month all mapped out in my mind. As the date got closer, my anxieties and excitement mounted. The moment I’d been working for years toward was almost here, and nothing was going to get in my way. There would be travel for a book tour, of course; there would be flights to Austin and Seattle and Portland for talks and signings. There would be press and great bylines and buzz. And oh, there would be festivities too! What author isn’t most excited about the parties? I booked an evening launch party at my local wine bar. I hadn’t gone shopping yet, but I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about what I’d…

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“From the Corner of the Oval:” A Job Landed by Craigslist

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Beck Dorey-Stein is not unlike any young adult fresh out of school and focused on herself, her friends and her love life. Her boyfriend shenanigans and drinking escapades are typical and par for the course. But her job was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and captured in her memoir, From the Corner of the Oval.(Spiegel & Grau). Living in Washington and trying to make ends meet, she casually answers an ad for a job as a stenographer at a law firm on Craigslist. They follow up asking for a cover letter;  she refuses. They still bring her in for a test, and then a subsequent interview. She makes a halfhearted effort, but then regretting her course writes to apologize. She gets this…

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“The Sun Does Shine:” Hinton Stares Down Death Row

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The Sun Does Shine (St. Martin’s Press) is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope from one special individual Anthony Ray Hinton. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair.  He was a 29-year-old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother.  The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it should have, and he chose not speak for the first three years of his incarceration. Rebelling in silence as he wavered between anger and despair, he anticipated being put to death in the electric chair, knowing…

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Immigration Attorney Memoir Reads Like Espionage Thriller

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It’s a collection of immigration case histories that read more like espionage thrillers, populated with KGB agents, nuclear whistle-blowers, and even accused terrorists fighting for their lives as well as legal standing in the U.S. With the publication of Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door (American Bar Association), Michael Wildes, Managing Partner of the premier immigration firm Wildes and Weinberg P.C., shares nearly a quarter century on the front lines of the immigration controversy. But he also tells human stories – children kidnapped to foreign countries in bitter divorce battles; families destroyed by the attack on the World Trade Center; a hero’s shabby treatment after standing up to terror; and more. As Safe Haven hits the bookshelves, BookTrib asked Wildes…

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Remembering John McCain for His Literary Works

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Since the news of his passing, Senator John McCain has been warmly remembered by many – and for many things. Perhaps underpublicized – but not underappreciated – is another side of him: the literary side. Over the years McCain penned a few books including Worth the Fighting For (Random House) and his most recent one, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations (Simon & Schuster). In Worth the Fighting For, Senator McCain talked about his life from his time in the Navy to his infamous 2000 Presidential run.  In the book he describes how his whole life changed following his return home from captivity after enduring a few years of torture and darkness. His life from there…

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Sorting Through Fiction and Non-Fiction Narratives

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At Delphinium, we often ponder the difference between fiction and non-fiction narrative, and it seems more and more that these two literary distinctions are being blurred. Even though the memoir genre is still thriving, it’s now generally understood that memoirs are embellished, truth laced with invention; and yet it’s also true that many memoirs could not be successfully published as novels. With a memoir, it’s the very idea—or in some cases, the illusion—of confession that makes a book saleable. The premise is that a memoir will attract a reader who can believe they have gone through an experience similar to the one they read about. For this reason, memoirists—and their publishers—may be reluctant to divulge whatever is actually invented. Could…

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October Choices: Secret Lives, and a Stirring Memoir

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Members of the Girly Book Club are voting on the following four titles to determine the book selection for their October club meetings in 70 chapters around the world. If You Knew Her (Harper Books) by Emily Elgar (384 pages) Cassie had it all – the fairytale wedding, the stunning home, the perfect husband. But when she arrives at the intensive care ward at St Catherine’s Hospital in a coma, it soon becomes clear she has a secret — a secret that changes everything. Alice, the chief nurse on the ward, begins to feel a connection with Cassie and can’t help but wonder if things are not quite as they seem. Frank, another patient, can hear and see everything around him…

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“My Family Was Crazy, So Now I’m a Psychiatrist”

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One day at the age of 10, as a student at a New England boarding school, young Ned Hallowell was told to report to the school psychologist at the request of his mother. Getting right to the point, Dr. Merritt asked, “Well, how about if you tell me about your life so far?” “I remember starting to talk, and out of the blue the floodgates opened,” recalls Hallowell in his new memoir, Because I Come From a Crazy Family (Bloomsbury). “I talked and talked and cried and cried… Dr. Merritt sat there, not saying a word.” What Dr. Merritt said next, according to Hallowell, “makes me believe he was either the best or the worst psychologist on the planet. He…

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Marcia Gay Harden’s Powerful Memoir Honors Her Mother

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A well-known actress from both stage and screen, Marcia Gay Harden tells the story of her life in the context of memories she has with her mother in her memoir, The Seasons of My Mother (Atria Books). Their close relationship is so beautiful and all the more painful as her mother’s memory fades from the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. But their bond is unbreakable and based on love, and due to the progression of the disease and the author’s fear that all would be forgotten, it became imperative that stories were recorded. Remembering the past with family and friends is how we all stay connected, and I applaud Harden for writing this book honoring her mother, her wisdom, advise, strengths and hobbies…

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When You Look With Your Heart, Oh The Things You Might See!: A Review of ‘Will’s Red Coat’ by Tom Ryan

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Will’s Red Coat is, at first glance, a moving and beautiful true story of a dog on death row who chooses life against significant challenges, and the exquisitely compassionate and patient author, Tom Ryan, who brought him home, initially, to die with dignity.   Look deeper, however, and Ryan’s story is a powerful example of how, by embracing what animals have to teach us, a human can wake up to experience life with more joy, understanding and peace. The spiritual awakening Ryan encounters doesn’t just show up at his door unannounced; it was something he had to earn.  Ryan has clearly logged his share of solitary miles on the journey to Self, finding his way out of both the rat…

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‘Laura Meets Jeffrey’: An X-Rated ‘Literary’ Love Story

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James Wolcott in “Vanity Fair”: “Jeffrey Michelson’s reflections on fighting and fucking are like a bolt of bourbon, a careening chronicle of orgies, S&M, hanging and banging with the stars, and related calisthenics.” Anka Radakovich in “British GQ”: “Laura Meets Jeffrey” is a fascinating nonfiction “erotic memoir.” Jeffrey Michelson chronicles the wildest, most intense sexual scene in New York City’s history. This book is raunchy, dirty and disgusting. I couldn’t put it down.” Norman Mailer from his foreword: “Objective, funny, salacious, and perversely—dare I say it—uplifting!” For Valentine’s Day, I offer you “Laura Meets Jeffrey,” a hot, wild, real-life memoir. I do so, however, with a warning. Reviewers have called it “undeniably brilliant” and Norman Mailer called it “literature,” but this…

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From One Survivor to Another: A Posthumous Memoir Brings Two Sickle Cell Survivors Together

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Soar is about an African American, female journalist who beat the odds given to her by doctors, growing up with the same silent disease I’ve had since I was a baby: sickle cell anemia. Gail Woolley was told at the age of seven that she, along with her brother, would not live past the age of thirty five. Unfortunately, Gail’s brother lived a different lifestyle than she did and proved the doctor’s prognosis to be true, but Gail did not. She was determined prove doctors wrong. Rather than allowing sickle cell to dictate her life, Gail lived normally; she was a true sickle cell warrior and had a great, supportive husband by her side for over 34 years. It was…

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‘Each Life Can Teach Us’: Bestselling Author Steven Gaines on Memoir Writing

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Why are so many people writing memoirs? Expiation? Ego? Money? Revenge?  One reason is that access to social media has given the average citizen the misimpression that people care what they had for lunch. Andy Warhol was wrong when he said in the future everybody was going to be famous for 15 minutes. The future is here, and everybody is famous for 15 seconds, the length of time it takes to write a 140 character Tweet, or to post a vacation photo on Instagram, or catalog moods, movie reviews, and bad affairs on Facebook. The ease of publishing Print on Demand books, and ebooks, has given all of us a shot at being Proust.    A while ago I rang…

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A Life in Books: Author Kathleen Hill Talks About the Power of Words and Writing Her New Book

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Before I spoke with Kathleen Hill for the first time, I had been talking with a friend about aging and watching the adults in our lives, some who’ve passed away, struggle with memory in their later years. We were both saying how we wished they had written down some of the stories of their lives, memories of events that would have given us and our children a bit more insight into family histories and reveal how certain events in the lives of those who are connected to our pasts ultimately impact who we are in the present. So we both committed to writing our own memoirs. I became keenly aware, early in the process, that everything I wrote was linked…

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Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Fisher, Reality Stars and More:  50+ Memoir Deals for Under $16 

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Are you interested in reading about how some of your favorite actors and musicians became famous? Or maybe you want to know what it’s like to grow up in the White House. Whatever your interest, there is definitely a personal story here that will not only be worth your dollar, they may even inspire you to write your own! Here’s a great list of over 50 memoirs for Kindle, all under $16 (and some are even free)!   Famous Icons Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen Becoming Grandma, Lesley Stahl Turning the Tables, Teresa Giudice The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx Unqualified, Anna Faris Growing Up Fisher, Joely Fisher Whoa, Baby!, Kelly Rowland We’re Going to Need…

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BookTrib’s First Writing Contest: Could You Be Our Next Contributor?

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Do you love reading BookTrib? Would you love writing for BookTrib even more? Here’s your chance! We are launching our first official writing contest where emerging writers and those who thought about writing will have the opportunity to compete for a position as a BookTrib Contributor for 2018! The contest will open on December 1, 2017 and entries can be submitted on our website through the end of January. The Top Five entries will be published on our website, and the authors will be interviewed individually for a live-video chat with member of our staff about their entries and writing experience. The Grand Prize is a 12-month stint as a Booktrib Contributor.  There will be TWO Grand Prize winners.  The…

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